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Rising Stars: Meet Cicek Bricault

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cicek Bricault.

Hi Cicek, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.

I was born in Istanbul, Turkey. My parents moved to the United States to Miami when I was three months old. That’s where I grew up. I now live in Los Angeles—in Venice Beach.

My journey and fascination with media and technology began at an early age.

When I was in elementary school, I would come home and make a bologna sandwich with mayo on white bread. That was considered nutritious back then. With my “healthy” snack in hand, I’d plop myself in front of the TV and turn the dial to one of the three stations our antenna tuned into. For hours on end, I would watch “The Three Stooges,” “I Love Lucy,” and “I Dream of Genie” amongst others like “Gilligan’s Island” and “Bewitched.” (I’m sure I’m giving away my age by now:)

By the time I turned 16 years old, it dawned on me how much time I had spent (or wasted) watching frivolous yet funny shows. I got serious about the business of TV, after all it wasn’t going away, not with the recent advent of cable with 500+ channels and a rush of content—from tennis to QVC infomercials—to fill the insatiable appetite of viewers.

In college, I studied Advertising and Marketing. When I graduated my mother took me on a trip around the world. We went to London, then Cairo, New Dehli, Katmandu, Hong Kong, and Singapore. In each location, I’d turn the TV on, surf through the channels and always find CNN in English—covering world news. It became, along with my mother, a constant connection of home. What was most remarkable to me though was that global communication was clearly on the rise.

After the trip, I wholeheartedly decided to work in the media business. After a short stint at a video distribution company in New York City, I moved to Los Angeles—the entertainment capital of the world. This was the early 1990s. After a couple of years temping at different media companies, I joined the New Media division at the William Morris Agency. This was when Sega and Nintendo were giving traditional Hollywood a sudden run for their money—having sculpted a two billion dollar gaming industry. CD-ROMs hit the market allowing for interactive content. A year later, I moved from the service-side to the content and production-side of the business as head of development for a CD-ROM company in Washington D.C. This was the mid-90s. Yahoo! was born, and suddenly, the door swung open. People with dialup connections to access the Internet (which was previously available mostly only to academia) could search the World Wide Web. There was not much in the way of content back then, but creators began to emerge. Dazzled by the promise of online communities and people sharing information across borders, I moved back to L.A. and joined the startup GeoCities–who at that time (in 1996) was the largest online community in the world—and brought digital self-publishing to the masses. GeoCities’ tools and servers allowed anyone in the world with an Internet connection to build a homepage and congregate in their online chat rooms and message boards. As a community manager, I ran the chat rooms and two communities: small businesses and women. In 1998, GeoCities had their IPO. A year later they were purchased by Yahoo! I left the company after to start my own startup called (celebrating crafters and makers like myself—looking for ways to express their creativity and the arts). Then, the 2000 dotcom bubble busted. Funding for tech startups like mine suddenly dried up. This was also the year I got married. My husband and I decided to start a family, so I pivoted…to motherhood. Over the following decade, I continued to read about advances in tech, challenged myself to stay savvy using new apps on the iPhone, and observed society’s growing addiction and dependence on cell phones and e-commerce. Then two things happened.

One: I saw “An Inconvenient Truth,” the documentary film directed by Davis Guggenheim featuring former Vice President Al Gore, and I was shocked. What a wake-up call. Could our government really have been this neglectful for the sake of profits. I discovered, yes. The loss of natural habitats and global warming was tipping the balance of our planet.

The second:  I began to experience life through the eyes of my children, who always lived and delighted in the moment. Creativity was innate. But, also in jeopardy. I read Sir Ken Robinson’s work and learned how traditional schools were instilling in children a fear of being wrong—and stifling their creativity and enthusiasm for taking risks and trying new things. I recalled my own 5th-grade experience when my teacher had asked me to stand up and answer a question. When I didn’t answer it “correctly” the way she wanted, I felt humiliated, everyone eyes on me as I crept back into my seat.

Armed with this awaking, I set on a mission in line with my passion and curiosity.

I wanted to create a hero (a role model) for kids. A hero they could look up to and be inspired by. I began the journey of writing a story about a 12-year-old girl who wanted to fit in so badly at school that she chose to sacrifice what was most true and special about herself. (I could relate with this character and being different because of my Turkish heritage and my weird name that even the teachers butchered). I spent the first five years learning the craft of writing while weaving in a vision of a near-future world where STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) and project-based learning were central to learning in all schools. And, where failure and being wrong is celebrated as part of an iterative process to learning and inventing. The next few years I spent balancing my personal life with writing time and wove in more themes that I care deeply about (nature, animal intelligence, biomimicry, artificial intelligence, the power of social media, ecosystems, how to thrive while being vulnerable, and how to use our passion and interests as our compass). I had so much fun writing this middle grade novel—and now I get to share it with the world.

Im sure you wouldnt say its been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?

It was definitely a struggle writing the book. I had to learn how to write a creative story, figure out what my protagonist wants, what she needs, her arc, and how to keep the reader engaged with dialogue, setting, action, etc. But I learned I love to write. I love the creative process, even if I would stare at the page or rewrite the same sentence a hundred times.

Also challenging was choosing only to write when part of me wanted instead to start a company or work on projects in my create/maker studio at home. I struck a balance though. I put my love for tinkering into the backstory of the book and made the kids in my story inventors of gadgets for their class project.

As you know, were big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?

I love bringing people together. I’m a host by nature. A community builder. I’m also a bit of a geek and love to look under the hood of things. To take electronics apart and figure out how to build and assemble stuff from furniture to baby carriages. I’m the one in our home that fixes everything. And my friends come to me for tech advice – best software programs, how to get their elderly parents on Alexa, how to fix the TV and make the remote-control work, etc.

I think what sets me apart from many people is that I’m so curious and determined. Perseverance takes me over the finish line. After all, it took me 10 years to write my first novel, but I never gave up.

What matters most to you?

The health of our planet and how we humans can live responsibly and with love for all living beings and one another. This is important to me because I believe all animals (including people) and plants have inherent talents and by nurturing one another (and ourselves) with love our best selves and potential begin to shine.


  • Paperback book is $8.99
  • Ebook/kindle is $4.99

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